ART BY MEGAN LIEN
By CAROL LI
Nowadays, if you were to check a teenager’s phone, the majority would have many types of social media apps, such as TBH and Sarahah.
These newly popular apps commonly surround the theme of discovering what others think of them. In the TBH app, there are categories and four names, and one chooses the person that best fits the category. In Sarahah, users are allowed to submit messages anonymously to a person’s mailbox.
Although these apps are entertaining, they should be cautioned against using because they result in cyberbullying, cause self consciousness and carry a negative message.
To start, using these apps heightens self-consciousness of individuals, which can result in the lowering of self confidence.
For example, someone may vote an individual for a category such as “Most Attractive” in the TBH app. Then, the person chosen receives a text message stating that they have been chosen as an answer in the app. The individual may feel as though if everyone only sees them by their physical attributes. Although the phrase “Most Attractive” does not promote negativity, some peers do not like being seen a category instead of an individual.
Furthermore, in TBH, people must either be chosen from a poll in order to continue playing, or wait for an hour. This is an issue to the app as some people are less popular than others and are unlikely to be chosen, because they don’t fit the category of the responses. When people are asked to wait about an hour before continue using, this causes users to feel as if they are not ‘cool enough’ to have the app.
In addition, these apps make users vulnerable to cyber bullying. In Sarahah, people can leave messages anonymously, so there is no consequence in their actions. As a result, drama and gossip from school can be continued online. The victims of these actions may feel targeted or attacked when receiving unfriendly comments.
Apps such as Sarahah and TBH project detrimental message that it is okay to hide from your problems. Interacting through these apps may cause users to think that confrontation is not necessary in life, which is untrue. By allowing users to hide behind technology to express their feeling, it conveys to young peers especially that it is okay to hide from reality.
I personally relate to this situation because when I attempted to use the app, there were certain people who sent messages to my Sarahah inbox that were indirectly mocking my actions. I felt that it made my social media experience less enjoyable. To escape reality, many unhappy individuals resort to these pathetic social media apps to put their negativity on others.
As a result, it is best not to use these technological advances because they allow users to become susceptible to cyber bullying, cause self consciousness and carry a negative message.
To resolve these issues, the apps should include mandatory filters or easier access to reporting these anonymous users. In times like these, we should stay away from toxic social media and enjoy the concept of real life.